Thursday, February 26, 2009

Same old, same old

A rather boring week, punctuated by Pierre's bout of diarrhoea, necessitating a couple of days off work, then I got it too (supposedly viral) though kept ploughing on much as usual. There was also a visit to Penguin at Camberwell to check a couple of things in the files and catch up with Jessica after a long break. Because of the big D. we had a very quiet weekend with just a bit of shopping (no market).

The only excitement was finally getting to the cobbler/elves yesterday to get my nose transferred to my new trendy glasses, give blood to the vampires for next week's renal appointment, and take my old glasses for the new lenses to go in them. Nearly a whole day wiped out, when I should have been working. I'll have to make up for it today. On with the cutting of the film autobiography!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


As I plough ahead with the film autobiography, three manuscripts turned up on the computer in two days. One is a full editing job of structuring and copyediting, which has to be done before we head off to Europe; the other two are only for reading and report, but it means a fairly heavy load and no slacking.

Meanwhile, the good news came that Frank has to take some long service leave, so will join us for part of our time in France at Dinan, then in Spain at Bilbao and Madrid. We had dinner at Frank's last Wednesday and he came to us on Sunday. P. made rolled up veal with sage and I finished with an easy pavlova (the meringues and much of the fruit bought from Saturday's farmers market). Yum!

On Monday, we trundled round to Barry Dickins place and went to the nearby noodle bar for dinner. It was good to catch up with him and Louis. Since then it's been pesto and pasta (the basil was wilting in the heat) and venison burgundy (from the new venison people at the market).

Now it's on with the show with many projects and nairy a dull moment.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quiet by the convent

Yesterday, I went into town to Budget specs to have my eyes tested. This was partly because I am finding the print in The Australian too small in a poor light, and also to get a spare set of specs for the overseas trip. So far, I can still see okay on the computer screen. Now the new specs are ordered and I await a complicated process of taking them to the Melbourne hospital to have a new nose put on, then taking the old ones back to Budget for new lenses.

Last night, Peter's aunt rang from Holland to check that we were all right in the bushfires. Lord knows what the coverage in Europe was, but it obviously frightened Aunt Susanne. At least it was a good opportunity to apprise her of our travel plans, plus assure her that we were not frazzled by the fires.

Today the trusty bookshelf maker appeared with his truck and two new bookshelves. Peter and I now have to rearrange the books in a sensible way, otherwise they will just fill up and overflow again. The boxes of unwanted books in the hall await the secondhand book lady, who still hasn't turned up to appraise them.

The last couple of days have been spent mostly on the film autobiography, which is proving resistant to further cuts. The trouble is, I find most of it intrinsically interesting. I'll have to be tougher. In a break today, I toddled over to see Peg Prain at the nursing home. She is settling in well, though regretfully, about little but important things, like not going shopping. However, she is much cheerier and more lively than last time which is a good sign.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Books, books, books

In spite of having a cleanout of books, we have a need for more bookshelves (one for Art books, one for Indigenous books, some of which are the same). After the Saturday shopping, we went to a woodwork shop near the Fitzroy baths, and ordered two large ones for later delivery.

On Sunday, my sister had organised a family lunch. Unfortunately, we were staggeringly uncreative and decided on revisiting the Elephant and Wheelbarrow in St Kilda. Unfortunate because it coincided with the St Kilda festival and parking was impossible. However, we finally settled down to a pleasant lunch amid lots of young folk. My sister Julie and husband Ian are off to Mallacoota soon for a holiday.

It seemed almost indecent to be having a quiet lunch in the aftermath of the terrible bushfires. We have often visited Marysville and it seems likely that the venue of our delightful duck and pinot weekend, Marylands Guesthouse, is now burnt to a crisp in all of its deco splendour. Quite possibly, the Fairy Dell, a short walk behind it, is now also smouldering stumps. This is nothing compared to the loss of lives, but having some familiarity makes it all the more real.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Assassinations and other things

On Sunday, Peter, Frank and I went off to Milk, an account of the life and death of Harvey Milk, gay activist in San Francisco, who, along with the mayor, was eventually shot for his trouble. It was a good movie, although slightly hagiographic. A bit more revelation of how irritating Milk must have been might not have justified his colleague, Dan White, shooting him, but it might have explained it more. Similarly, Harvey's little crew of gay activists did suprisingly little squabbling among themselves. Not something I remember.

Otherwise, the week was spent on the film autobiography, with some time spent with Sally M. on the art biography, just with checking corrections, alterations and captions. The first half of the film bio. is back. The author and his secretary have done the corrections impeccably for once, with no funny business or sloppiness. I await the second half with interest.

On the medical front, Professor Becker of Renal has taken me off one pill. He thinks I might be over-controlling my blood pressure. I go back in a month to check whether there's any difference. And Andris the Latvian heart specialist says that in the absence of any more chest pains, I can have my sinus operation and all I need to do is keep my chlorestorol under control (easier said than done).

And for my birthday yesterday, P., Frank and I went (unusually) to a Lygon Street eatery for a pleasant meal, though with servings that were rather too large for us. I also have a couple of books to aid in the European venture.